Softball sweeps rival Amherst in weekend series

Last week, softball (10-15, 4-2 in NESCAC) took on Keene State and Amherst, adding three wins and a loss to its season total. The women lost to Keene State 8-1 on April 10, but redeemed themselves over the weekend when they took down Amherst three separate times: 4-3 and 8-7 on Saturday and 4-2 on Sunday. The Ephs now stand in third place in the NESCAC West.

On Saturday and Sunday, the women took on rival Amherst and came away with three victories. In the final matchup between Amherst and Williams on Sunday, the Jeffs were no match for the Ephs. Kacey Cramer ’16 batted in Theresa Legan ’14 in the top of the third, opening the scoring for Williams, and tri-captain Ali Graebner ’14 scored in the top of the fourth off a Priscilla Pino ’16 single before Amherst earned their first run in the bottom of the fourth. Graebner cemented a 3-1 lead for the Ephs in the top of the fifth, batting in Cramer and scoring off a Melissa Cendejas ’16 bunt. The Jeffs’ comeback effort in the bottom of the sixth was too little too late, and the Ephs took away their third win last weekend, sweeping their rivals with a 4-2 victory.

“We have some things to clean up, notably, our routine defense was not as good [last] weekend as it has been,” Head Coach Kris Herman said.

The second rivalry game on Saturday was also a nailbiter. Amherst began the top of the first looking for revenge, starting strong with two runs. The Ephs first put themselves on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second when Cendejas singled up the middle, batting in Cramer. Erica Li ’16 then walked, driving in Merrilee Weston ’13 for a run to tie the score at 2-2. The women hit their stride in the bottom of the third. Kaitlin Dinet ’13 took first and second by taking advantage of two Jeff fielding errors, while Cramer advanced to second and then third. Graebner took advantage of the mistakes to score. Next Cramer scored on a bunt by Cendejas. Dinet scored a third run to give the Ephs a 5-2 lead. After the Jeffs added a run in the top of the fourth, the Ephs answered in the bottom of the inning when Graebner singled up the middle to drive in Li. The Jeffs came out strong in the top of the fifth, taking a 7-6 lead by adding four runs to their score. Williams added a run in both the bottom of the fifth and seventh innings. In the fifth, Legan doubled to center field, batting in Mo Frank ’15, and Pino scored the go-ahead run off a Frank single in the seventh. On the mound, Dinet had one strikeout and tri-captain Megan Casey ’13 finished with two strikeouts, and the Ephs just secured a narrow 8-7 win.

The first matchup started out extremely close on Saturday. Amherst took two runs in the top of the first, but Williams answered in the bottom of the first with a double from Ally Ensor ’14 on which Li and Legan scored. The Jeffs added a run in the top of the third to make the score 3-2 Jeffs. Williams then made a statement in the bottom of the fourth when tri-captain Amanda Correnti ’13 singled, driving Cendejas and Tayler Donze ’16 in and give the Ephs the upper hand at 4-3. Emma Harrington ’15 faced 28 batters and finished the game with four strikeouts. “Emma made a nice stab on the mound to end game one,” Herman said.

On April 10, Williams traveled to Keene State. Keene State started strong and took control of the game early on. By the bottom of the third, the Owls had a 3-0 lead. Williams finally answered back in the top of the fifth with a single from Legan, who then advanced to second base on the throw. Pino took third base and Lindsey Precht ’15 ran home to score the first run for the Ephs. The Owls answered in the bottom of the fifth with four runs and added one more in the bottom of the sixth to secure an 8-1 victory.

From the mound, Casey faced 26 Owl batters, coming away with two strikeouts. Harrington faced seven batters and had one strikeout. In the night matchup, Keene led Williams 4-2 in the top of the fifth when the game was suspended due to rain.

The Ephs have the opportunity to bolster their record this week against RPI and Middlebury. “[We] look forward to proving we can sustain our energy for the rest of the season as every game is crucial for us,” Herman said. “I am very pleased with our energy and the contributions of every member on our team,” she said.